A visit from the PCO to treat bed bugs (first-person account from Miranda)

by nobugsonme on October 6, 2008 · 3 comments

in bed bug epidemic, bed bug treatment, bed bugs, spread of bed bugs

Dear Readers,

A Bedbugger has agreed to let me share this story of her recent treatment by a Pest Control Operator for bed bugs.

Reader “Miranda” wrote the epistle below (which she emailed me) and I took the liberty of changing names to protect the parties involved.

Sensitive readers, please be warned, the item below contains a small amount of “language” (Miranda’s, but not nearly as much as you might expect, given the scenario that unfolds), and an ignorant racist statement (heard by Miranda, certainly not made by her, or us).

Lots of tempest, no teacup.

Enjoy. And thanks to Miranda for the excellent reportage.

nobugs, your Editor


Dear nobugs,

I scheduled my follow-up appointment with the PCO for today. Here’s how my day went today:

-woke up at 8:22 am to a phone call from the president and owner of PCO company, who informed me that his tech “Caliban” had searched my apartment “from top to bottom” when he was here the first time (mind you, the guy was here for a grand total of 35 minutes) and he didn’t find any bed bugs, so unless I could produce a specimen when they arrived this afternoon, they weren’t treating

-when I said that I would have a specimen ready and waiting, he said “So if I show up with my tech today, you’ll be able to show me a bed bug?” I said that I would.

-he then said that he couldn’t understand why I still had bed bugs after his tech had inspected and treated so thoroughly (once); he said that I must be “bringing them in on [my] shoes”

-I said that I assumed, considering that I’d seen and photographed four mattresses and box springs discarded beside our building dumpsters THIS WEEK, that they were probably in our building and spreading through the walls

-he said “Hummmmmmmmmmmmmph. I’ll see you at 1:00 then” and hung up on me

-at 1:00 PM, my phone rang, and a person identifying himself as a PCO from the company asked to be let in (not my original tech)

-I answered the door to find a man dressed in black dress pants, really expensive black dress shoes, and a half-buttoned black sweater that emphasized not only his chest hair but also several gold chains, wielding a single can of D-Force, who identified himself as “Ariel”

-Ariel proceeded to enter my apartment and ask what I wanted “sprayed”

-I took Ariel to my bedroom and told him I wanted the (encased) box springs and bottom of the mattress and the bed frame “sprayed”, along with the bedside table, all the baseboards, all the cracks and crevices in the walls and window pane, and all the baseboards, cracks, and crevices in the entire apartment. I also said that I’d like for him to apply some other pesticide, preferably a dust and preferably in cracks and outlets and such

-Ariel caved quickly. He said I really needed to either do this myself because he was not prepared, or he would call Caliban (the original tech) and have him do it on Monday.

-he then said that he couldn’t understand how such a pretty, clean girl could get bed bugs

-I started educating him, using my laptop and multiple documents I’d printed

-he mentioned that my original tech was busy treating sixty (SIXTY) infested condos on the other side of town, and when my jaw dropped, he said that “black people are filthy so it’s no surprise”

-I then took out my camera and proceeded to show him the pictures I’ve taken over the last two weeks of all the mattresses and box springs (some with visible feces and bugs) discarded in my neighborhood, which is predominantly white, and pointed this out to him

-he then caved even further. He sat on my couch (crazy!). He looked at the armed forces pest control guide; he looked at the San Fransisco and the Cincinnati documents; he looked at the armed forces resistance paper

-he listened when I told him that if he or one or two of his techs became really, really informed and became bed bug specialists and truly inspected and treated thoroughly and planned and budgeted and charged according to the demands of bed bug infestations, he could make a fortune

-he told me he’d pass this along to his boss; I said his boss seemed to be quite the idiot, considering he’d suggested I was bringing bed bugs in on my shoes

-he then called Caliban and told him to come here on Monday night at 6:00 PM and spend at least two or three hours, and then he told me he would have Caliban come back as often as necessary with no charge

-then he told me that Caliban wants to date me and I should do him even though he (Caliban) is married

-then he told me that he (Ariel) is gay and would do Caliban in a second

-he finally left, after talking for fifty minutes about his Madonna tickets (which cost nearly as much as one of those new Indian cars), his upcoming Halloween party, and Caliban’s chest hair

-shortly thereafter, Caliban called to confirm our appointment and to ask me if I wanted to “get together” later today

-I told him I do not date married men, ever

-he said he understood, and then asked me how I had gotten along with Ariel; he then informed me that Ariel has been dating their boss for the last ten years (if you’re still following, you’ll know that I just told Ariel that their boss [his boyfriend] was a complete idiot)

-and then I sat down to do some research on my alderman, my ward, my senator, my representatives, and my congressman, and got bit on the neck as I typed. My ear has swelled up to twice its normal size and is now throbbing and pulsating and shit. I took pictures.


1 Vector Guard Inc October 6, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Wow! that should be on daytime TV! This is very unprofessional and I have heard other stories like that and it just makes us want to work harder to educate and assist in minimization of this resilient pest. I feel sorry for that young lady and it really gives PCO’s a bad name there are alot of good PCO’s out there please don’t judge us by that one.

Vector-Guard Inc.

2 hopelessnomo October 6, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Oh no, no, no!

The pest control industry does have a professionalism problem (and in my opinion really ought to invest in bedbug education, for their own members mind) but this is astonishing (and hilarious and sad and horrifying).

It is to weep, Miranda!

But here’s the thing. There is no way, no way at all that this company can solve your bedbug problem. And any time spent dealing with them is precious time lost. I am so sorry.

3 flamethrowerz4sale October 7, 2008 at 7:11 pm

dear god, hahahaha, wow I woulda booted that guy out of my house quick, What an idiot.

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